Modifications desired for "pre-fab" firebox...Is it possible?

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Old 12-01-15, 06:25 AM
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Modifications desired for "pre-fab" firebox...Is it possible?

I live in a home, built in 1993-94. Original owner purchased in April of '94, I think.
We moved in in April of 2004.
The fireplace is working but a lot of heat goes up the chimney, each Winter. I would like to install a wood stove and run the flu up the current configuration but, I recall a discussion with a fireplace store, some years ago, in which I was told that I couldn't do that. Is that accurate and why?
Thank you.
 
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Old 12-01-15, 07:12 AM
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I think the first step would be to go back to that store and re-ask the question, then the 'why' if they still maintain you cannot.

Beyond that, I think we need more details about what you have, maybe including some pictures.
 
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Old 12-01-15, 07:35 AM
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I have had many homes where a wood stove was retrofitted to a traditional fireplace. A lot depends on the fireplace you have and the stove you want. In several houses where I've lived the wood stove slid into the fire box of the fireplace while one house sealed off the fireplace with a steel plate and the wood stove sat in front with it's flue going out the back and up into the old fireplace & chimney.
 
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Old 12-01-15, 08:34 AM
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Thanks for your reply. The last configuration is what I would desire. Would a plate completely sealing the current fireplace need to be part of the setup? Also, and perhaps more importantly, since my fireplace is a "pre-fab" and not a "regular built-in fireplace, does this play into setting up a wood stove on the floor in front of what I now have? I have installed ceramic tiles on the floor which should accommodate the wood stove. Also, is it possible that local code would prevent this type of setup (a wood stove attached to a pre-fab set up)?
 
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Old 12-01-15, 08:38 AM
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okay. Got it. I'll go back and ask more questions and submit my findings along with some pics. Thanks
 
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Old 12-02-15, 03:50 PM
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Wood stoves and fireplaces are a leading cause of house fires.

A manufactured fireplace often has a specific design to the vent system designed to go along with just that fireplace.

I think it's a mistake to try to DIY in this case. Buy a wood stove from a reputable contractor and have them install it.

Better SAFE than sorry. If you don;t install a wood stove properly and have it inspected and passed, you might find your insurance company refusing to pay a claim should a fire occur.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 04:07 PM
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Someone that knows what there doing would have to be on site to figure this one out.
An open fire place is a total waste fuel and heat.
It has to have make up air and will make all the other rooms colder.
An insert to the existing fire place would be my first thought.
But with so little info and no pictures it's anyone's guess.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 05:45 PM
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Your post all makes sense, joecaption. The last thing that I want to do is to enter in to a DYI project with half the knowledge (or less) needed to achieve my goals without fear of loss of life or limb.
What you just stated coincides with what I believe I heard from the owner of a local fireplace store about seven or eight years ago.
Now I am understanding why he said that I couldn't modify anything having to do with the fireplace.
Is it impossible to get at the flu and remove it without taking the whole firebox out? Are they (flues) removable, anticipating the insertion of a seal plate and the chimney from a free-standing stove? I am using my own terms and they may not make sense to you. Perhaps I should study the anatomy of an open fireplace and a free-standing wood stove before I ask questions.
 
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Old 12-03-15, 06:37 AM
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If you have an engineered, zero clearance type fireplace I would NOT modify it. Even if you do do it well you may void your home's fire insurance. Since the insurance company doesn't know they will still gladly accept your payments. But if there is ever a fire the investigators may find your DIY setup and use it as basis to deny any claim.

Yes, the flue and fire box can be removed. They generally have metal straps or brackets that get nailed to framing. So, to remove it you would probably have to open up the chase to get access to the nails or screws that attach everything to the framing.
 
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Old 12-03-15, 07:22 AM
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Well, that definitely sounds too involved for me to delve into. I've already finished the surround with river rock and mortar. I'm going to have to leave it as it is. I had really hoped to set a wood stove in front of it, block off the opening, and run the chimney from the wood stove up the existing exit but, that isn't going to happen. Thanks to all.
 
 

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